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Road police officers will be responsible for breaking the rules

A citizen from Chuhuev Viktor Demydenko* quarreled with his wife and decided to sleep in his car. He was woken up by the road police officer in the morning. After their conversation, the inspector took the car away and drove it to the police compound in Kharkiv. He violated several traffic regulations as well.

On April 4, Viktor returned home late at night. He was very tired because of the work regime and asked his friend Artur to drive. As Viktor quarreled with his wife, he decided to sleep in the car. Artur parked the car on the parking lot and left. That did not interrupt any transport.

The next day road police officers woke Viktor up at approximately 5 a.m. and wanted to see the car documents and driving license – without any explanations. They demanded that Viktor should move his car a little bit and offered to visit car inspectors.

When the man came out of the car, one of the police officers took away the car keys. He offered to go through an examination on intoxication or to “solve the problem somehow” thus demanding money.

After Viktor refused to give bribe, the inspectors called two witnesses but did not write any protocol in their presence. Respiratory tube was used to conduct intoxication examination. But when Viktor asked to show the documents that confirm that the device is suitable for an examination, he got a refusal. The man used the tube for several times but intoxication was not confirmed. This procedure was accompanied by the propositions from inspectors to “solve the problem right here”. When Viktor refused to pay money again, he was threatened that he will pay for the fine, parking lot, evacuator etc.

This morning conversation ended when road police officers confiscated Victor’s car and took it to Kharkiv to the police compound. The man received copy of protocol on administrative offence only in three days after he contacted the Road police department.

When Victor Demydenko read the protocol he was very surprised. Data in the document differed a lot from the reality. Police officers did not write about the results of intoxication examination. They wrote: “strong smell of alcohol, bad speech, unsteady walking”. They also wrote that the man refused to pass intoxication test though that was not true. In the section “Witnesses” the information on people who were present at the moment was absent. The inspectors violated the protocol procedure. They also ignored videoregistrator data that shows that Artur was driving, not Viktor.

Mr. Demydenko had to prove the truth and refute the administrative protocol in court. He turned to the Community Law Center of Chuhuev human rights group for help.

When human rights defender and lawyer Roman Lykhachov watched the video from Viktor’s car, he noticed that the road police officer violated the traffic regulations himself. He did not use car belt, used mobile phone while driving and drove in far left lane while the right lane was free. Inspector also drove through double horizontal road marking while parking the car.

Lawyers of the Center helped Viktor to write a complaint to the prosecutor’s office. Now the police officer will have to explain why he violated the law and to prove the necessity of car confiscation. Viktor Demydenko is fighting for his right to talk to the police without bribes.

*Name is changed due to the ethical reasons.

Additional information: Community Law Centers are established with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation within the framework of “Human Rights and Justice” programme initiative. You can learn more on the Centers network activities, basics and principles of work here: www.legalspace.org


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